Mocha Coconut Oatmeal

“The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.” (Source)

It’s no secret that I love oatmeal.

Mocha coconut oatmeal

Mocha coconut oatmeal

While a basic bowl is always delicious, sometimes I wake up feeling indulgent–and this bowl certainly is, with coffee AND chocolate mixed in. But an indulgent morning is about more than food.

Breakfast is served

Breakfast is served

Cooking helps me to slow down and to see the details within the everyday routine of my life. Starting my day with a bit of breakfast indulgence means more than adding chocolate to my oats, it means taking time to create a breakfast lovely enough to photograph and unique enough to make the day “special.”

Indulging in my morning means really noticing they way the soft spring sunlight streams into my apartment; feeling connected to my husband as we sit on the couch to eat breakfast and watch the Today show together; not responding to the inevitable buzz of my phone as work emails start to come in.

Coconut cream on top

Coconut cream on top

I increasingly find myself wanting to resist the “busy trap” of modern society, even as I say “yes” to too many things and inevitably overcommit myself. I need reminders that idleness is healthy, and spending time in the kitchen helps me to do just that. So oatmeal like this becomes a small way in which I am able to slow down and indulge a little, to notice the details and to enjoy my morning routine a bit more.

Digging in

Digging in

Mocha Coconut Oatmeal

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 banana, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (full fat, from a can)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • top with coconut cream*, coconut flakes, and cacao nibs

*Place can of coconut milk in the freezer for 30 minutes. Skim coconut cream off the top. Pour the remaining liquid into ice cube trays and freeze for later use (in smoothies).

Method

Combine oats, banana, coffee, coconut milk, water, cacao powder, and cayenne in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir vigorously to combine. Cook about 5 minutes; transfer oats to a bowl; top with coconut cream, cacao nibs, and coconut flakes. Indulge!

Morning indulgence

Morning indulgence

How do you find small ways to slow down and indulge throughout your day?

-L

{Happy Valentines Day!} Chocolate-Covered Cherry Oatmeal

Happy Valentine’s Day!

bowl with spoon

I’m not a huge fan of this overly-commercialized holiday, but I am a big fan of chocolate (the darker, the better). So, any excuse to indulge in chocolate deserves at least a little bit of attention here on the blog.

It’s been a busy few weeks, with weekends spent driving between Charlottesville and D.C. to lead trainings with an organization I work with part-time, as well as lots of events at work and social outings with friends. This means extremely limited time spent in the kitchen, and thus, my Valentine’s Day treat came in the form of oatmeal, rather than something more exciting like cupcakes or brownies or cookies…

But, this oatmeal will not disappoint, and (bonus!) it’s healthy enough to be enjoyed any time! Featuring raw cacao powder, dried cherries, and almonds, this oatmeal is my next “fruit, nut, superfood” oatmeal combo. It was quite the treat to start my day!

close upRaw cacao is considered a superfood because of its high levels of minerals and antioxidants. It is one of the best sources of magnesium found in nature, in addition to containing high amounts calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulfur, and potassium. It is different than cocoa powder, which has been heated and therefore has lost the majority of its nutrients. Head on over to Sarah B’s blog for more information on raw cacao and some tasty recipes.

off center

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Oatmeal

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 (heaping) Tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 – 3 Tablespoons dried tart cherries
  • Almonds
  • Cacao nibs

Method

Combine oats and almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add cacao powder and whisk to combine. Thinly slice banana into the mixture and stir well. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally  While the oatmeal is cooking, add most of the cherries, reserving some for garnish. Transfer cooked oatmeal to bowl, and top with remaining cherries, chopped almonds, and cacao nibs.

bowl with spoon2

My favorite part of this oatmeal was probably the way the cherries added during cooking plumped up and became soft and juicy. The almonds and cacao nibs add great texture. The only sweetener is the emulsified banana, so feel free to add maple syrup, honey, or another sweetener of your choice if you prefer your oats on the sweeter side.

close up 2

For Valentine’s Day, I made a special tea blend for my husband with Adagio Teas. On our honeymoon, we stopped in a great little coffee shop in Santa Barbara and order a pot of tea. Upon tasting it, we both declared it the most delicious tea we had ever tasted, and promptly returned to the cash register to purchase a 1 pound bag to take home with us. We aren’t exactly sure what was in the mix, but we know there was black tea, little pieces of chocolate and little chunks of dried apple. We savored our tea for almost a year, and almost cried when we drank the last cup.

I was pretty excited when I realized I could attempt to recreate our tea with Adagio. So excited, in fact, I couldn’t wait until Valentine’s Day to give my husband his gift. We enjoyed our first mugs of our new tea last night, and while it may not be the “real thing,” it is pretty darn close! Adagio makes all custom blends available to others, so if you would like to try our tea for yourself, you can!  If you do order our “Buccaneer” Tea for yourself, please let me know what you think.

Hope you have a wonderful, chocolate-filled Valentine’s Day.

-L